10 Fruits and Vegetables in Season During April
What's In-Season for April
Starting in early spring, many colorful fruits and veggies (finally!) hit the market. And your best bet is to fill your shopping cart with a variety of hues—from red to green—to ensure that you’re taking in a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals (plant chemical that help fight and prevent disease). Do this and you'll keep healthy and happy, even through those April showers. (Some of these seasonal fruits and vegetables made our Top 50 Spring Diet Foods for Weight Loss.)
This colorful vegetable is packed with good-for-you nutrients like vitamins C and K, potassium, and iron. It can be substituted anywhere you would use spinach. Add rainbow chard to soups, stir-fries, or as a topping for pizza.
These Japanese green feathery leaves are commonly tossed into mesclun mixes. They’re also sold separately at specialty food shops and at the farmers’ market. To store, wrap fresh mizuna in a paper towel, place it a plastic bag, and store in the refrigerator for up to five days. Wash well before using to remove any dirt and pat dry.
Most strawberries around the country are grown in California. One serving of these red gems (that’s eight strawberries) have more vitamin C than an orange! Strawberries also contain one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory antioxidants called anthocyanins. Studies have found that strawberries may help reduce the risk of heart disease and lower the risk of certain types of cancer. (They're great for dessert too! These Mexican Hot Chocolate-Covered Strawberries offer the perfect balance of sweetness and spice.)
Photo credit: California Strawberry Commission
Fresh herbs are a spring delight. Cilantro grows particularly quickly, so you can find it fresh in early spring. Use it to make salsa, guacamole, pasta salads, and rice dishes. When storing, place a fresh bunch stems down in a glass of water and change the water daily or gently wrap in a paper towel and place in a re-sealable bag in the refrigerator for up to one week.
This crossbreed between a lemon and possibly an orange or a mandarin was named after Frank N. Meyer who first discovered it in 1908, and is only found in early spring. Meyer lemons have a sweeter and less acidic taste than more popular lemon varieties like Lisbond and Eureka. Use for salad dressings, fresh juices, smoothies, and desserts—or just add a few sliced into a glass of water.
Photo credit: Sunkist
This member of the cabbage family resembles radish leaves and has a bitter, peppery, mustard flavor. The small, younger leaves tend to be milder in flavor. One half cup of fresh arugula has 2 calories, vitamins A, C, K, and folate. These babies are also brimming with the antioxidant lutein, shown to help maintain healthy skin, heart, and eyes. Enjoy fresh in salads or add to hot dishes like soups, quiches, stir fries, pizza, and pasta.
These shiny crimson stalks are in season only a short time in early spring. But beware: Rhubarb leaves are high in toxic oxalic acid, so those shouldn’t be eaten. Since rhubarb is tart, it’s typically paired with something sweet to help balance its flavor like in strawberry-rhubarb pie. You can also make fabulous rhubarb jams, jellies, and spicy chutneys. (Not sure how to cook with rhubarb? Learn How to Use the Weirdest Farmers’ Market Veggies.)
Pea shoots are sweet in flavor but are very delicate and perishable so you won’t typically find them at the supermarket. Instead, check your local farmers’ market for these green, coiled tendrils of the pea plant. Add to salads, soups, or pasta dishes—as they are so delicate, add pea shoots right before serving.
In the U.S., mangos are grown in Florida and California. One cup of sliced mango has 107 calories, 3 grams fiber, and over 20 vitamins and minerals. They’re also are an excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A and C and have nice amounts of vitamins E, B6, K, and potassium. Mangos contain plant chemicals called flavonoids, which may help control high blood pressure and help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Curly and flat-leaf are two common varieties of this herb. One tablespoon has only 1 calorie, but over 75 percent of your daily recommended amount of vitamin K. It also has lesser amounts of antioxidant vitamins A and C, folate, potassium, iron, and calcium. Besides being good for you, parsley can also help freshen your breathe due to the high amount of chlorophyll it contains! (Pick up these fresh fruits and vegetables at one of The Top 10 Farmers Markets in the U.S.)